practice #4: storytelling from the situated kitchen

2. Feb 2021


In practice #4, the grain ‘Hirse’ (esp.: sorgo; engl. millet) was put into our focus in a story-telling exercise led by Paloma Ayala, Deborah Suter and Kenza Benabderrazik. They shone light on this food from two different angles: one, as a key ingredient in the traditional Swiss dish ‚Hirsesuppe‘ and the other, as a grain that is the livelihood of farmers in the borderlands of Mexico.

With their stories, they created a space to actively reflect on the food in front of us, tackling questions regarding sustainable and decolonial food systems and digging deeper into the livelihoods impacted by this grain. We learned about the intricate domestic, ancestral and feminist knowledges lying at our hands as we cooked in our kitchens and shared a nurturing meal together. Paloma tells us about the millet being planted on her family's farmland:

"My family depends on the company [Bayer] to buy and sell seeds, chemicals and machinery. The most recent news I have received from them, is that with the frosts of the past weeks, the entire crop in the region dried up. They told me they cannot plant corn because of the lack of irrigation water, so they will have to take out a loan to buy more seeds and try again. They are not sure the crop will save the year."


Ground

I feel my feet

I feel my feet connecting to the earth

Even if I’m hovering somewhere high,

or wandering on sand, dirt, or mucus

Ground is

Rest

Support

Stability

I ask for support

an animal

a tree

I imagine its roots entangled with the earth

Just how long has it been since it was a seed?

Compost

I compost my shit frequently, and for sure a lot of shit that isn’t mine

Know the Earth's capacity to metabolize

The soil digests – transforms - recycles into new forms of life

Patience

Autumn fields, meadows, leaves, forests, rocks, canyons, landslides

Growing, gleaning, cleansing

The soil is my magic, manifestation and mystery

Blackberry, raspberry, blackcurrant

Calendula and sage

* Inspired from Modern Women – Text by Riikka Tauriainen



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